"But Selvaris? Most people I know couldn't even pick it out on a star chart."
Selvaris is a backwater world that has attempted to stay out of galactic issues since it was founded. It has managed, with some bumps along the way, to thread the narrow path of staying out of great notice by galactic players while still attracting a limited amount of commerce.
Selvaris is a lush planet covered in extensive forest and jungles, as well as oceans and seas teaming with marine life. The planet is bathed by the light of twin suns, creating a lush environment, teaming with many varieties of flora.
The planet is dominated by four continents, one forested one in the north, two heavily tropical ones in the southern hemisphere, and a large one going almost from one pole to the other. Major cities and population centers are focused on the large mega continent, with hunting outposts and scientific expeditions scattered across all of them.
Due to several astronomical anomalies in the galactic region, the remote location of the system, and the relatively low economic potential, little effort has been made to scout out a direct hyperspace route to the system. As a result, ships are required to make a series of separate jumps to avoid these hazards, lengthening the potential travel time. Rumors of a shortcut found by the Empire have been unconfirmed.
The majority of settlements are located on the large continent, with several communities devoted to those seeking a more natural experience set up well away from the larger cities. These outposts and hunting stations would become one of the major draws for vacationers and game hunters, as they would often be the last sign of civilization once people headed out into the wilds. Some would wind up being a draw for those of a more criminal inclination, and others would attempt to cater to those with more credits than sense.
Due to the lush vegetation and biodiversity across the continents and in the waters, many varieties of plant life are found on Selvaris. Expeditions to catalog the variety have been few however, so the potential value in bio research fields is unknown.
One of the few major esports from Selvaris is agricultural products, most notably exotic culinary ingredients, such as seasonings, grains, rice, and some fruits. All such exports are heavily regulated and require specific permits from the environmentally conscious government.
One of the main attractions for people to visit Selvaris is the wild nature of much of the planet, and thus it is a draw for those sportsmen who like to hunt wild animals in a more primitive setting.
There are also several species of native herbivores that have been of interest to gourmet establishments in the Core, and a limited amount of trade in meats and other animal products is conducted under strict guidelines and heavy fines.
Fed up with the wars and political infighting plaguing the Republic, a group was formed to set up a new colony, away from all the conflicts and governmental oversight. The group called themselves the Natural Way Foundation, and their stated goal was to create a colony where people could enjoy some of the advances of galactic technology, while at the same time finding a more equitable balance with nature as a steward instead of an exploiter, and to live outside the reach and direct observation of the Republic bureaucracy.
Purchasing a trio of old Invincible-class dreadnaught heavy cruisers about to be scrapped and converting them to haul the colonists and their equipment, the NWF set out to locate a system that met their criteria. The refit process took over a year, and in that time several systems where proposed and rejected, before the remote system of Selvaris, recently scouted by Republic explorers but listed as not economically suited to exploitation, was selected as their destination.
After the long and convoluted voyage, navigating around several nebulae and other gravity anomalies, the trio of large ships and an escort of smaller mining vessels for the system’s asteroid belt, the colonists arrived at their new home. Deciding on focusing their efforts on the largest continent of the planet’s four, stretching almost from pole to pole, a series of prospective building sites were determined, and the first exploratory groups went down to the surface.
As the first groups touched down, a previously unknown faction among the colonists launched an attempt to take over one of the Invincibles, the Moderation, and land it on the planet. Their intent, as stated by their leader, was that the NWF did not go far enough in their anti-technology statements and that only a complete reversion to a tech free existence was necessary to free people from the dangers of the rest of the galaxy.
A running battle throughout the Moderation ensued, and the ship, never intended for entry into a planetary environment, slipped into the atmosphere and begun an unrecoverable descent to the planet’s surface. Fortunately for the many thousands on board, the hidden group of anti-tech fanatics were unable to gain complete control of the ship, and the regular crew was able to subdue them and prevent the ship from breaking up as it slammed into the ground, creating a many kilometers long trench in the landscape that later generations would refer to as The Cut. This landmark would eventually be expanded into an important canal between the planet’s capital and an inland waterway.
As the dust settled, the leaders of the colony decided that exiling the anti-tech members among them was the best option, and the few thousand people who felt this way, about 4% of the population, was offered the chance to remain with the colony, or find new lives out in the wilderness. Nearly all took the offer of exile, and they scattered into the wilds with only some basic hand tools and clothing.
After the crash of the Moderation and the exiles of the anti-tech faction, the colonists set about building their first city. Using the resources extracted from the asteroid miners they had brought with them, the salvaged materials and components of the wrecked heavy cruiser, and the planned dismantling of a second, their capital of Caru soon took shape.
After two hundred years of peace and quiet, Selvaris was shaken by several attacks by the descendants of the exiled anti-tech rebels. Using unconventional tactics, these Regressives, as the locals dismissively called them, raided several smaller towns and outposts. These raids led to much damage and loss of life, and the stealing of several pieces of heavy ordinance.
Over the next several years, many battles would be fought between the Selvarin government and the loosely aligned Regressive clans in the wilderness. Eventually, after much struggling and atrocities on both sides, a cease fire was effected, with the Regressives being granted a limited citizenship that allowed them to travel inside Selvarin territory and access the more advanced medical facilities available, while the Selvarins were allowed to expand into previously hostile areas with specific limitations on settlement size and technology footprint.
While there had always been a limited amount of trade between Selvaris and the rest of the galaxy, very little notice was paid to the planet by much of the galaxy. That changed when a scout from the Palanhi system stumbled upon a large deposit of materials in the outer portions of the system and on the moon of Selvaris that were desired for shipbuilding. Their attempted negotiations stalled for several years, as the Selvarins were not interested in drawing the galactic attention to their planet that they had fled from so many years before. In a bold, and possibly illegal, move by the senate representative from Palanhi, Selvaris was declared a protectorate of the financial planet, and such resource extraction issues fell to them.
Feeling a sense of righteous outrage, Selvaris pledged to fight against such despoliation, knowing that their way of life and their planetary environment would be devastated by the exploitation planned by Palanhi. Organizing many cells of resistance, workers conscripted by Palanhi conducted many acts of petty sabotage and non-violent resistance. Work quotas in the asteroid belt were never met, and the lunar operation never began production, as critical components would become misplaced or were found to be damaged up receiving them.
Frustrated by the lack of progress, Palanhi hired a group of mercenaries to bring order to their operations. Using some strong-arm tactics, minimal quotas where finally met in the belt region, but they were unable to prevent the lunar facility from suffering repeated setbacks.
During this time, complaints to the Republic Senate from Selvaris fell on deaf ears, as Palanhi was an influential banking system, and was much more important than an isolated planet of little consequence. The representatives that visited Coruscant had little success finding sympathetic ears that could actually do anything and had to turn to outside sources. Several groups of mercenaries, looking for an easier bit of work than the continuing hostilities the Republic was focusing on, agreed to take on the Palanhi mercs and drive out the interlopers.
Over the years, many small battles raged throughout the system, mostly with them ending before serious injuries occurred, but not all engagements were so bloodless. On board Selvaris’ primary space station, converted from the third Invincible-class dreadnaught that had brought them there, several pitched battles were fought over control of the station and the orbital infrastructure. At times, control of the spacelanes and resources extraction would switch between the Selvarin forces and then back to the Palanhi forces.
At the high point of the conflict, a corvette commanded by a mixed crew of Mandalorian mercenaries and Selvarin locals conducted a raid on the Palanhi asteroid mining operation. Striking quickly, they were able to capture many of the outsider work force and then plant charges to scuttle the whole station. Unfortunately, a Palanhi frigate suddenly appeared and prevented the escape of the corvette, even firing on and destroying the unarmed shuttle containing the Selvarins that were coming out to negotiate a resolution to the situation. After a rough siege, as it looked certain that the Palanhi forces would overrun and kill all the local forces, the locals decided to blow up their ship, and take the processing station with it. It is an action often pointed to with pride by Selvarin natives.
As news of this event spread, a small group of Republic diplomats, with a pair of Jedi observers, came to the system to negotiate a ceasefire. At the end of it, Palanhi was forced to recall all their forces and publicly apologize for their strongarm tactics. In return, Selvaris would rebuild the asteroid mining infrastructure and lease the rights to Palanhi interest, but they were not allowed to develop any of the resources in and around the planet or it’s moon.
While there was an agreement with Palanhi in regard to access to resources in the Selvaris system, Palanhi continued to be a thorn in the side of Selvaris. The political fortune of the planet would ebb and flow, as different senates would recognize the previous claims Palanhi made of Selvaris being its protectorate. While the resource treaties signed at the end of the previous conflict were strong, during votes and other such events Palanhi would attempt to use their qusi-legal status to inflate their own standing, claiming extra votes and a larger population base. As Selvaris was practically unknown, and most people had to go through Palanhi to even get there, complaints from the government of Selvaris fell on deaf ears for centuries. This would lead to a strong feeling of discontent with outsider interference among the Selvarin populace.
At the same time as Palanhi tried to influence Selvaris’ fate, a trade group, the Namadii Trade Commission, began to operate in Selvarin space, setting up limited shipping runs between the system and the nearby Namadii trade route. After many years, the NTC became the primary means by which most trade was conducted between Selvaris and the rest of the Republic, with the rest made up by individual traders and merchants
Since they had first settled on Selvaris, rumors flowed that there was a native sentient species on the planet. Dismissed by most Selvarins, the Regressives claimed to have seen these elusive beings, but lacking any physical evidence they were discounted as the ravings of superstitious luddites.
All that changed when a small group of near-humans entered the settlement of Kelva Shallows. Demanding to speak with the leaders of those who despoiled the skies, their appearance shook Selvarin society. The original scouting report had made no mention of a native species, and subsequent forays into the wilds after the colonists arrived revealed no new signs. Republic law at this time was murky on situations like this, but it was possible that the courts would find their initial charter to be void and require them to either vacate the planet or come to an agreement whereby the natives would become the dominant legal party of the planet.
The leaders of the Selvarin government, a council of nine members elected to represent their respective districts on the planet, met with the natives, called the Odho, behind closed doors, in an attempt to come to an agreement with them before the information of their discovery became general knowledge outside the system. After a few days of negotiations, agreements were made whereby the colonists would severely limit expansions in to the territory claimed by the Odho, while the Odho would provide guidance and information about the wilderness surrounding the colonists’ settlements.
While the desire to limit the invasiveness of technology was always part of Selvarin culture, and reflected in their legal system, a new group of environmental activists gained influence throughout Selvarin government. As a result, more and more restrictions began to appear on what kind of technology was allowed, and how it could be used. Certain regions began to outlaw repulsorlift and hover vehicles outside of specific pre-approved travel lanes, as well as limiting their operation hours. Starships were only allowed at a small number of locations, and much of the imported cargo had to go through the planet’s aging orbital station. The importation of droids was limited, requiring specific forms and fees before they would be allowed on the surface. And, deciding that the Republic was not as helpful as it claimed, they recalled much of their diplomatic outreach efforts, leaving only a small observation party to keep tabs on the Senate.
While the small amount of trade the planet enjoyed continued, and people were still encouraged to come and visit the planet’s natural attractions, the door was closed to those wishing to bring the planet more fully into the galactic community.
Due to their mostly isolated location, Selvaris figured they could wait out the coming storm. Continuing their policy of environmental protectionism, they turned inward, away from galactic concerns, and ignored the warning signs. They continued to rely on their outdated system patrol craft and low-impact surface vehicles for defense and reconnaissance.
Unfortunately, the Separatists had heard of them. Recognizing their physical location could be of strategic importance, close to the Core worlds but not surrounded by inhabited systems, they felt that it would be worth investigating the possibility of charting a secret route from Selvaris in towards Coruscant. Determining that the technology shunning Regressive tribes would be a way to scout the planet, several members were bribed to relay information to a scout ship hiding in the Selvarin asteroid belt.
Unfortunately for the Separatists, their reliance on individuals without serious technical skills hampered their ability to acquire the desired information. In fact, after capital security forces captured one group of Regressive infiltrators, further attempts to use them by the Separatists were scrubbed, and traditional espionage using droids monitoring and hacking official channels was attempted.
However, while the Separatists were no longer interested in interacting with the planet until they got the information they wanted, the Regressives had already received a noticeable amount of war materials from them, and when the captured infiltrators were sentenced to a maximum security prison on the Selvarin moon, several tribes launched campaigns of vengeance.
What followed, known later as the Faux Troubles in reference to the Regressives being tricked into beginning the conflict, was several years of violent raids and counter raids, destroyed communities on both sides, and a steep decline in the attitudes between the Regressive tribes and the technology using Selvarins.
While the Separatists never found the desired hyperspace route, the idea that there could be routes into the Core from Selvaris, or even routes into the Unknown Regions, found reception in the new Imperial organization. While not a priority, it would be something that Imperial officials planning expansion would have to bear thinking on.
At the same time, while the Regressives eventually lost the Faux Troubles, and the official stance is a return to the former arrangement of sharing access, both sides remain antagonistic to each other, with the wounds still fresh for many, especially those in the border regions that have to deal with the Regressives on a regular basis.
The Odho, meanwhile, have attempted to stay out of the politics and bickering of the two groups, content that the colonists have kept to their agreement to stay out of their lands. The little contact that exists, usually in the form of them serving as guides to hunting excursions, has brought them the news of the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. As the Republic was the backing force behind their agreement with the Selvarin government all those years ago, they are unsure how the Empire will play a similar role as the influence to maintain their agreements.